If your home is built on a crawlspace, there are several things you need to know about it. If it is not properly prepared, it will attract mold, moisture, and rodents. The first thing to look for is mold and traces of insects. Moisture will cause the formation of mold and termite infestation. Other types of insects and rodents will also find their way there.
Why a Crawlspace
A crawl space is less expensive to build than a basement. This gives a space to run duct work and plumbing in. If properly maintained, it can also be used for storage of non-perishable items. It needs to be protected from water infiltration and freezing. Water from gutters need to be routed away from the house and it’s possible you will need to do some landscaping to prevent water from running under the home. A layer of gravel around the house can help absorb some of the water. Moisture can still find its way in if you live in areas of high humidity. Besides attracting insects, moisture can slowly cause the wood floor joists to start rotting.
Getting Rid of Moisture
A good moisture barrier needs to be applied to the ground of the crawlspace. A board type insulation that is waterproof should be applied to the crawlspace walls and covered with the moisture barrier. This will not only help keep it dry, there will be less chance of water pipes freezing up and busting. The use of foundation vents is still very debatable. During periods of high humidity, moist air can enter through the vents and work its way into the flooring.
This is a method to completely seal off the crawlspace from moisture. There is no venting or other ways for moisture to find its way in. This is another highly debatable way of keeping moisture out. If you plan on using this method, there still needs to be a way in if an emergency should arise. It is also possible that you will need a dehumidifier in this type of system.
A lot of people aren’t capable of crawling around under their house with a limited amount of area. There are several companies that specialize in crawlspaces, foundations, and basements. They can give you recommendations and different options to consider. It’s important to protect the area to prevent insects, rodents, and wood rot from happening. A well prepared crawlspace will also keep water pipes from freezing.